“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates Winter is here in earnest and flu season is hitting its peak. The really bad news is that the vaccine this year isn’t as effective as in years past so supporting your immune system is a good way to stay healthy. Food as medicine is a very old idea and here are two great soups to help boost your immune system plus provide a bowl of comfort when you’re fighting off the miseries. My first soup is a serious flu and cold fighter but it’s not a great first course on date night.
Ingredients: 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 – 3 small parsnips, peeled and diced 1 large carrot, peeled and left whole 1 small onion, diced 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
In a heavy saucepan, sauté the onion in the melted the butter (or oil). Add the minced garlic. Saute onion until translucent and the garlic is fragrant but not browned. Add the parsnips and potatoes and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
Slice the carrot and add back to the soup. Garnish with ground black pepper and crackers. But what if you already feel awful and your tummy is out of sorts. Sometimes you need comfort as well as an immunity boost. This soup is will fix you right up and even kids and cranky husbands like it.
Spicy Ginger-Carrot Soup
This is based on a recipe I found for Punjabi Ginger Soup with a few added tweaks. It really is delicious and you’ll eat it again and again even if you’re not feeling under the weather. Ingredients: 1 large onion, diced 1 sizable knob of ginger (about 2 tablespoons grated), or you can use powdered ginger. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter if you prefer) 1 tablespoon cumin seed 3 teaspoons ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste) Salt and pepper to taste 1 15-ounce can of full fat coconut milk In a heavy skillet, saute cumin seed, turmeric and pepper flakes in the coconut oil until the spices are fragrant. Add the ginger, salt, onion and the carrot and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the can of coconut milk and simmer until the carrot is tender.
Blend until smooth, garnish with some chopped mint and serve with some crusty bread. There’s ginger to settle your tummy, tumeric to boost your immune system, a bit of pepper to help the aches and stuffy nose, and smooth yummy coconut milk to make everything feel all better. Enjoy!